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stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 05:55 PM
I was reading the laptops that work with ubuntu perfectly and came up with another question for people. I want to buy a cheap laptop so I can play with ubuntu on it. What are my options cost wise. I was thinking an amd processor to save money (not sure what options there are for laptops) and probably 1gb of RAM (should be good enough for most things in ubuntu, right?). other than that, I don't know what else I really need. Are there laptops that have no optical drive (only need it for loading the OS) Let me know if anyone else has done something like this or if there are any suggestions. Specifically, how much I would have to spend for a decent linux laptop.

tony

gn2
December 7th, 2007, 06:26 PM
Helps if you mention what country you're in as the market varies from one place to another.

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 06:28 PM
sorry, I live in the US, plus I have no problem ordering online vs retail store (though it would be nice to just walk out of best buy with it -- I like instant gratification).

thanks in advance

mips
December 7th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Max budget might help as well.

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 06:55 PM
Thats the thing, I don't really know what I would have to spend. I see ones I would like at best buy for like 600$ ( lowest price for core 2 duo) and then there are some 400-500$ amd ones, but don't know how well ubuntu (or linux in general) will run or what i should look for in a mobile amd processor. let's say 6-700$ for now as a budget. Also, I am willing to modify it saves money (add or replace components), or buy RAM separately if needed

thanks

aysiu
December 7th, 2007, 07:02 PM
What do you consider "cheap"? What's your price range?

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 07:05 PM
What do you consider "cheap"? What's your price range?

6-700$ as the upper limit

fbmx24
December 7th, 2007, 07:08 PM
I have a HP DV2000z which cost me $800 after rebate.

The specs are....

AMD TL-50
nvidia 7200go videocard
80gb hdd
1gb ram
broadcom wireless

Now the only problem with this laptop is the broadcom wireless since they

hate linux apparently. Ubuntu 7.10 has the restricted driver manager and

that has my wifi working perfectly with out much problem. The build quality

of the laptop is great and I would recommend it to anyone, with the one

thing being to upgrade to the intel wireless.

Oh Ubuntu runs awesome on this laptop, my desktop system has way

better specs but the performance is almost identical.

mips
December 7th, 2007, 07:12 PM
In the 600-700$ price range you can get a lot from Lenovo, HP & Dell.

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 07:21 PM
this might sound wierd, but aren't intel wifi cards supposed to be very well supported under linux? Do you have any problems with your broadcom card like slow speeds? My laptop for school has the intel pro 3945 abg card and it tops out at like 25kb/s download (and it freezes all the time if I use ndiswrapper). I searched around and found a lot of people with this problem but no clear solutions. Thats another requirement I should have mentioned -- the wireless has to work well.

thanks

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 07:22 PM
In the 600-700$ price range you can get a lot from Lenovo, HP & Dell.

should I look off their websites, or are there other sites to buy from (i know newegg) that I should know about?

mr.farenheit
December 7th, 2007, 07:27 PM
i got an acer aspire 5100 with an amd64 mk 36 at 2ghz 1gb ram 80gig hdd ati graphics card that runs a shared video buffer of 128 mb from tiger direct for 600$

sanderella
December 7th, 2007, 07:51 PM
I'm very happy with my Dell Ispiron 1300. Cost about 400 a year ago, even cheaper items on the website now.:KS

igknighted
December 7th, 2007, 07:57 PM
this might sound wierd, but aren't intel wifi cards supposed to be very well supported under linux? Do you have any problems with your broadcom card like slow speeds? My laptop for school has the intel pro 3945 abg card and it tops out at like 25kb/s download (and it freezes all the time if I use ndiswrapper). I searched around and found a lot of people with this problem but no clear solutions. Thats another requirement I should have mentioned -- the wireless has to work well.

thanks

Currently I have a broadcom, and it works OK for me,,, but many have major issues, I would avoid them. I would also avoid any ATI laptop graphics cards. Some work great, others are impossible (especially the x200m). The intel chips and the nvidia chips can all work very well. Also, I would recommend Atheros chipsets for wifi. I have one on my desktop, and while the driver isn't completely free, it comes by default with Ubuntu and works perfectly. I have used several atheros chips before, and all worked great. The drivers might not be 100% free, but they do work great.

Finally, before you buy, search the net (especially the forums) for reviews on running linux on that specific model, that way you know what issues to expect. Good luck!

mmichalik
December 7th, 2007, 08:01 PM
I bought a Lenovo 3000 N100 a couple of months ago for $850.00 from the Lenovo website and it works GREAT with version 7.10.

I just bought a Compaq Presario C700T off of the HP website yesterday and I got a 200.00 instant rebate so I only ended up paying $449.00 for it. It's plain jane enough that I don't think I will have many problems setting it up but, it's a smoken little machine. 1 gig of Ram, Duo core setup with and 80 gig hard drive.

EmilyRose
December 7th, 2007, 08:08 PM
System 76' laptops start at $699... I have one and its very nice :D

quandary
December 7th, 2007, 08:13 PM
You could consider buying a Lemote box.
It's the latest development from China.

It is a very tiny PC (the size of an external USB hard drive), 1 GHz Loongson/Godson (MIPS architecture) processor, 256 MB Ram, and 60-80 GB harddisk. Only costs USD 130...

You can run Debian on a MIPS processor. Would probably be very interesting...

Though I don't know whether this is already available outside China...

See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UvoBf3hFCk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36TS5VSZzfY&feature=related

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 09:06 PM
I've found a couple of likely suspects, but is 1gb of RAM enough? What could I not do with linux with only 1 gb of RAM. How hard is it to add memory to a laptop?

thanks,

stlcoptony
December 7th, 2007, 09:10 PM
specifically, what about this (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8538291&type=product&id=1188558584099)?

does anyone see any problems with this (other than coming with vista)?

edit: nevermind on this suggestion - it has the 3945 intel wifi card

mips
December 8th, 2007, 11:04 AM
I've found a couple of likely suspects, but is 1gb of RAM enough? What could I not do with linux with only 1 gb of RAM. How hard is it to add memory to a laptop?

thanks,

1GB is plenty. To upgrade is easy, just involves swapping out the SODIMM modules for bigger sized ones.

gn2
December 8th, 2007, 11:59 AM
How hard is it to add memory to a laptop?


In most cases it's extremely easy if the laptop comes with one 1gb module and has a door for access to the second slot, just insert a matched 1gb module.

However if the 1gb RAM is fitted in two 512mb modules, some laptops only provide easy access to the #2 slot and there has to be a bit of disassembly to get at the #1 slot.
Fortunately this is fairly rare.

As has been said, 1gb is plenty.

stlcoptony
December 10th, 2007, 04:23 AM
I guess what I was asking was how easy is it to the slots to load the RAM. I've done it a couple of times on a desktop, but never on a laptop. Also, is there any reason I need a core 2 duo? Would an amd athalon64 x2 work just as well with linux? I've found more laptops with amd processors and compatible components than I have with core 2 duos.

thanks

stlcoptony
December 10th, 2007, 05:20 AM
sorry, also, is there a certain "minimum" speed I should know about? I know the core 2's are faster, I guess I'm just wondering how much of a difference I will notice.

thanks

Linuxratty
December 10th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Also Google Refurbished laptops.
You can find some really nice ones...I kid you not
Here are even Linux certified refurbished ones...They will even do a duel boot for you!:

http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux-laptop-refurbished.html

mips
December 10th, 2007, 09:50 AM
I guess what I was asking was how easy is it to the slots to load the RAM. ...

Also, is there any reason I need a core 2 duo? Would an amd athalon64 x2 work just as well with linux? I've found more laptops with amd processors and compatible components than I have with core 2 duos.

thanks

It is very easy to install ram into a laptop. Usually it has two slots which you access by opening a little cover underneath the laptop. Worse case scenario is there is only one slot underneath the cover and the other is underneath the keyboard. Removing the keyboard is 'usually' easy.

Core2duo performs better than Amd62 X2. Core2 duo also uses LESS power than amd64x2 and this translates into better battery life!

At the end of the day the choice is yours.

apothecaryaaron
December 10th, 2007, 09:58 AM
My laptop is an Athlon 64 (NOT the 64 x2) with 1 GB of RAM. It runs well enough that I have no complaints. Compiz with Emerald, AWN, and snow falling doesn't skip or lag when I spin the cube.

Bartender
December 10th, 2007, 01:41 PM
edit: nevermind on this suggestion - it has the 3945 intel wifi card

I thought the Intel wireless cards were the most reliable?? Have read a thousand posts indicating that was the case. If you've seen a lappy with Intel wireless card that doesn't work well I'm thinking the problem has not been identified correctly...

stlcoptony
December 10th, 2007, 02:15 PM
search for intel 3945 - there are many people with this problem and I have yet to find a solution

stlcoptony
December 11th, 2007, 03:27 AM
Ok, don't know if anyone cares, but I ended up getting an HP. I liked their look and feel (typing) best and it was the best cost. It was a little over $600 and has an amd processor and 2gb of ram. I can't wait for the recovery discs to be finished so I can start installing ubuntu on it. Vista is amazingly slow.........

mips
December 11th, 2007, 05:44 PM
Which model did you get, link?

stlcoptony
December 11th, 2007, 05:51 PM
I got the dv6646us, found on circuit city's site here (http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/HP-Pavilion-15-4-Widescreen-Laptop-PC-DV6646US/sem/rpsm/oid/191730/catOid/-12963/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do) and I have found no end to the troubles with it. I could not even get a gui with gutsy and I just discovered a 24 page thread about probs with HP laptops that I some how missed when I bought it! Apparently I have to use feisty for now, or mepis or sabayon. I am comfortably with mepis as I used to use it for about a year, but I still don't understand the whole sabayon/gentoo compile everything theme. I wish I did because I think it would make understand the computer and linux better, though.

thanks

Xbehave
December 11th, 2007, 06:37 PM
I was thinking an amd processor to save money
Dont fall for marketing
1)GHZ only matter within a make as amd generally do more processing per hurt
2)upgrade your ram yourself its alot cheaper
3)big external hard drives are cheaper than big internals (e.g if your only going to have the laptop at home, or dont mind leaving all you videos/music at home)
4)consider dual core, apparently they're good on battery life and heat issues, but on the otherhand youll probably end up with a slower clockspeed and a core that never gets used?
5)always think "YTF do i want that?" long battery? bluetooth?

as for linux specific advice:
ive heard ATI graphics support is bad (but ive also normally seen work arounds)
ive heard broadcom suck (but for me it works, just with bugs)
intel drivers are capable of running compiz (in my case on an old 1.6 centrino with 256 ram its not great but it runs)

bigbrovar
December 11th, 2007, 08:36 PM
From Experience the best laptop u can get that has full support for linux is Gateway MT6821 comes with a core 2 duo 1.6ghz processor,2gb ram,intel GMA 945 with 256mb shared memory, and a 160GB HDD with 8 cell battery which would give u about 7 hours of battery time.. where thing worked out of the box.. compiz,sound,wireless.. infact i never had one problem with the lappy has far as ubuntu is concerned.. its very fast ,strong and well built..unfortunately i wanted more so i sold it for cheap and went for a sony vaio ... now i spend most of my time making brightness and sound work :( .. so if anybody wants system that is 100% linux compatible then i would advise that u go for A Gateway MT6821 think it cost less than $800

mips
December 11th, 2007, 08:40 PM
I am comfortably with mepis as I used to use it for about a year, but I still don't understand the whole sabayon/gentoo compile everything theme. I wish I did because I think it would make understand the computer and linux better, though.

thanks

Sabayon is nice :)

The only thing that puts some people of sourced based distros like gentoo/sabayon is that compiling takes longer than installing binary packages.

It is really not hard, the system does the compiling and you can carry on with other stuff while busy.

With ubuntu to install kwrite you would:
sudo apt-get install kwrite

with gentoo you would go:
emerge kwrite (as root user)

There is also a graphical installer in sabayon called portato where you just click on things like in synaptic/adept.

Where is the thread with the problems relating to hp laptops ?

stlcoptony
December 11th, 2007, 10:28 PM
here (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=582220) is the HP problems thread.

I have a few more questions. To "emerge" in sabayon/gentoo, I could just use the command line? I don't need to d/l the source files, open a compiler and compile it, then figure out how to install it? Also, whats the best way to partition if you want to multiple (triple) boot? I was thinking I would need a /boot partition for grub? (I think is so I could change any of the three distros if I wanted to and not have to reinstall grub, correct?) then I would have a swap partition (twice the RAM, correct?) and 3 partitions to be used for "/" for each distro ( I was thinking 8GB each, is this ok?). Then I would have a /home folder that would be used for all the distros.

Can anyone tell me if this is correct? Also what sizes should the partitions like /boot and each "/" be? If it helps, the three distros will probably be Ubuntu (if I ever make it work), Sabayon, and either Fedora or mepis (still waiting for mepis 7)

thanks,
tony

mips
December 12th, 2007, 08:48 AM
I have a few more questions. To "emerge" in sabayon/gentoo, I could just use the command line? I don't need to d/l the source files, open a compiler and compile it, then figure out how to install it?

Hell no, you don't have to do any of that stuff. You just use emerge from the command line or portato from the gui. The package manager for gentoo is called portage and it is excellent. I actually think a lot of people think like you just did and it certainly is not the case.



Also, whats the best way to partition if you want to multiple (triple) boot? I was thinking I would need a /boot partition for grub? (I think is so I could change any of the three distros if I wanted to and not have to reinstall grub, correct?) then I would have a swap partition (twice the RAM, correct?) and 3 partitions to be used for "/" for each distro ( I was thinking 8GB each, is this ok?). Then I would have a /home folder that would be used for all the distros.

Can anyone tell me if this is correct? Also what sizes should the partitions like /boot and each "/" be? If it helps, the three distros will probably be Ubuntu (if I ever make it work), Sabayon, and either Fedora or mepis (still waiting for mepis 7)

thanks,
tony

I would not share /home between distros, I see to many issues & problems. Maybe don't have a /home partition and let home live under / then simp,ly create a big /data partition that you can share between the distros.

/boot 100-150MB
/ 10GB

Which version of Sabayon are you going to use, the DVD or CD miniedition ? If you use the DVD then make / for sabayon 20-25GB as a default install from DVD is about 12GB.

Partitioning sucks in my book, you might wan't to look into LVM, makes things easier when playing with different partitions. I have two 160GB hds in my desktop. I created a 100MB /boot on it, setup LVM, created two / and joined space across two drives together to create one big /home. Also very easy to change things dynamically should you want to.

stlcoptony
December 12th, 2007, 07:27 PM
What problems would I have sharing the home partition? I thought the home directory just stored files, media, etc...

mips
December 13th, 2007, 11:33 AM
What problems would I have sharing the home partition? I thought the home directory just stored files, media, etc...

View the hidden files in /home and I think you will understand. besides your data it also stores your application configuration data as well as config stuff for the likes of kde & gnome.

stlcoptony
December 13th, 2007, 01:54 PM
ahhhhh, I see. That would be bad. I can't view the hidden files, though, because I can't even get a distro (besides sabayon) to run on here. I was really hoping to run ubuntu... Just downloaded the latest hardy alpha, think I might give that a try.

thanks